Saturday, October 31, 2009

Getting Rid of Contacts

No, it's not meant to be an attention-grabbing headline; it's what I'm doing today.

My shift in marketing away from small businesses to large corporations (see The 1-6-10 Rule ) requires that I eliminate the really useless contacts from my list of about 300.

This morning around 6 a.m., way too early to start phoning, I printed off a daily work sheet , fired up my contacts list, noted that I had 223 records and started examining contacts in stalest-record-first sequence. That is, which record has not been modified for the longest time; which contact has NOT received my attention?

I quickly deleted 6 of the 8 stalest records, took me about 3 minutes.

Let's face it, here is someone (well, 6 someones actually), who I've never met, never done business with, have no real idea of who they are or what they do, or any adjustment of knowledge since they first got dropped into my contact list ten years ago.

For ten years I've sent them a Christmas card, but not bothered to find out anything about them.

I suspect strongly that if I picked up the phone today and said "Let's meet for coffee" the response ought to be "I don't know you; you presume to send me a card once a year, and expect me now to be all-friendly with you? I can't be bothered".

I feel that strongly, because that's how I feel about Norbert who sends me a chatty card once a year, but has never suggested we meet for coffee next time I'm downtown.

By deleting the names I'm reducing my waste of effort in sending a postcard or even interrupting their workday ("It's that brush salesman again …").

If ever I felt the urge to business with their firm, it would probably be because they had popped up as a "new prospect", in which case I'd be making a fresh approach to the CEO of the company, or else I'd be armed with some real benefits that surfaced as a result of my sleuthing.

It feels good to rid the world of this wasted effort, and to focus on my prime prospects.

Long may they prosper!

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